Why Do I AgVocate? -Diane Loew

What is your role in agriculture?

I am a dairy farmer. I used to say I was a dairy farmer’s wife but I now see myself as a partner in the business. When my children were young I was more of a bench player. Now, I do the office work, some field work, help with animal care and many other aspects when needed. One of the most important things I do is to encourage and show appreciation to those who are helping us along the way. I leave pots of chili, bar-b-q, and other goodies in the lunch room.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

Righteous anger was my initial inspiration for agvocating. Listening to special groups and celebrities “sharing” their misguided and false opinions while watching my sons and husband work so hard really got to me. My three sons have herniated and bulging discs in their backs. They work 16 hour days at times and I have been called to ride along at midnight when trying to finish a field before rain – just to keep someone awake. When we put so much of ourselves into something so important and worthy it’s heartbreaking to hear someone distort and basically lie about it.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

Sharing. We opened our farm to tours many years ago and it changed my inspiration from anger to excited passion to show and tell. When visitors started asking why and how and we explained we could see their views of farming more accepting. They began to understand and see the truth. I love striking up conversations whenever I can. When I see someone in the store with dairy products such as milk I will start the conversation with “I see you are buying milk. I really appreciate it because I’m a dairy farmer.” Nine times out of ten I get a great response with many questions. And I end it with an invitation to visit our farm.

I also love to blog and share our story – make it personal. I enjoy sharing pictures of real life on the farm. God shows up, and I snap and shoot the beauty of the land and the wonder of his critters.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

The hardest part for me is feeling as if I am educated enough. There are so many facets to farming that I have a hard time keeping up with every one. My main goal is simple. Speak from my heart, share what I know. I share it all – the good, the bad, the messy and the wonders. And, when asked something I’m not sure of I point them to Ask The Farmers Facebook page.

What advice do you have for other farmers or ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

I would encourage you to watch for opportunities to share what you do. It’s amazing how people will take the words spoken by celebrities – over the experts who live and work in the business. And one of the reasons is because those false voices are louder than ours. We need to speak up and speak out. More and more decisions are being made that make it harder to produce. One of the things I always try to remind people when speaking about the farm is that we as farmers produce very safe and economical food sources and it gets harder all the time to accomplish that.

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or twitter chat? 

To be totally honest I don’t engage because I am a techy failure – HA! I read and follow somewhat and I am amazed at the knowledge of others.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

AgChat is a wonderful source of encouragement and information. I can hear the voices of brothers and sisters in the trenches. I can see and feel hope and inspiration. It’s a boost when I am weary and a wonderful page to get lost in.

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DianeDiane went from city girl to farm girl during a short walk down the marriage aisle. She has been farming with her 3rd generation Farmer for 44 plus years. She’s raised 4 amazing young men and shows her love to her daughters-in-law and eight Wigglies by cooking and baking. After church Sunday dinners in her home with the whole family is where she is most content. Diane takes care of the book work and helps wherever needed on the farm. She loves to blog – to be real – sometimes at her family’s chagrin. Diane also shares farm, family and faith on a weekly radio spot called “Random Ramblings of. . .” on WHTC talk radio in Holland, MI.

Follow her on Facebook and her blog.

Why Do I AgVocate? – Lara Durben

What is your role in agriculture?

For the past 20 years, I have worked as the Communications Director for the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, the Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota, and the Midwest Poultry Federation. I coordinate a monthly printed publication and weekly e-newsletters for our members; work with the media to pitch our stories, press releases, and schedule interviews (and sometimes do those interviews); and manage all of our social media accounts and websites. (The organizations are all separate of each other, with separate Boards of Directors, so each has its own social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest – as well as their own websites.) Beyond that, I enjoy working together with the National Turkey Federation on various programs plus I get to travel to Washington DC once a year with our members to meet with our Congressional leaders. I also coordinate various aspects of the Midwest Poultry Federation Convention, the largest annual regional poultry show in the U.S. – including the details of the education workshops, marketing, and social media. I am a farmer’s daughter, raised on a corn and soybean farm in southwestern Minnesota, where my brother and father still farm today. While I’m not actively involved in the farm operation, I visit often with my husband and son.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

I think I’ve been an agvocate for turkey farmers for over 20 years – well before the term was coined or social media even existed. Working for the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association has given me a deeper appreciation of what all farmers do to raise their animals and grow their crops. I realized several years ago that I have a passion for sharing their stories and setting the record straight about poultry farming in particular

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

I absolutely love the writing process so my favorite part is creating blog posts that are creative, fun to read, and useful – and then connecting with people who have read those posts.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

It can be easy to get overwhelmed at times. Social media is on 24-7 and most days, I feel like I could find posts to comment on or topics to write about all the time. I have to remind myself that it’s okay to take a break and not be “on” or online all the time. I need to make sure I have some downtime so that I stay fresh and keep things in perspective.

What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

Don’t spread yourself too thin! Find the right fits for you – be it a blog or YouTube or Twitter, for example – and concentrate on those you enjoy the most. And regardless of whether you love Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or some other social media channel, work on it a little every day. And perhaps most importantly, just be yourself!

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

A couple come to mind: First of all, I credit my very first AgChat conference for getting my long-time dream of having my own blog off the ground. I had so many light bulb moments during that conference – listening to speakers, talking with others just like me … and I realized that I could make my blog whatever I wanted it to be. If I want to write about a variety of topics (like poultry, gardening, baking, my love of shoes), then I should – and in fact, this will make my blog more apt to be relatable to people. The AgChat Twitter chats really helped me understand how Twitter works – and how I can use it to connect with people. Now that I’m a volunteer moderator for #AgChat, I enjoy working on how to make the chats as engaging for people as possible.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

The AgChat Foundation has a special place in my heart – it was truly the first network of like- minded folks I had ever been a part of that really made me realize how I can use my love of writing and social media to make a difference for agriculture. AgChat helped me make sense of all these new communications platforms, and I’m so grateful for all the friends I have met along the way. It’s simply a top-notch organization with some amazing people behind it!

_____________________________________________________________Lara Durben

 

Lara Durben is a wife, mother of one, farmer’s daughter, and talks poultry every day as Communications Director for the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association and Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota. Her passions include being a #boymom, baking, gardening, traveling and looking after the family’s 15-year-old pug named Earl.

Follow Lara’s blogFacebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

Why Do I AgVocate? – Brian Scott

What is your role in agriculture?

I am a row crop farmer from Indiana. The crops I raise included corn, soybeans, popcorn, and wheat.  To break that down further I grow yellow dent corn, waxy corn, soybeans, soybeans for seed production, popcorn for Pop Weaver, and just a bit of wheat.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

Several years back I noticed industry magazines beginning to write about farmers taking the initiative to speak up about their farms and lives. I thought I might give this a try so I started a blog on my phone in a hotel room in Hawaii with no idea what I was really doing. Five years later here I am with some success in advocating for AG online and in person, and I’m also taking opportunities to teach others what I have learned along the way.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

I have interacted and/or met with so many great people both in and out of agriculture since I’ve started all this. This is what really keeps me going on a day to day basis. If I never took the time to write some blog posts or tweet there would be a whole host of people and experiences I would have missed out on in the last five years.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

Sometimes the idea of helping people understand why I farm the way I do seems overwhelming when at times it seems there are so many forces working seemingly in opposition. It’s important to remind myself that many times the loudest voices online aren’t necessarily large in number. They just may be the vocal few. There are relatively few of us in AG too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t a powerful voice as well!

What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

Just start somewhere. Start yourself a twitter account, blog, Facebook page, etc. It doesn’t have to take much of your time. Just try one platform and see how you like it. Invite some non-AG friends or groups to your farm for a tour. I promise you’ll enjoy having a dialogue with people who are curious about what you do.

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

The consumer panels at the various AgChat Foundation conferences around the country are always the highlight of the conference for me. Sometimes it does sting to hear what the non-AG community thinks about farming and the industry in general. But each time I come away from these panels I have a better understand of the public’s concerns about AG today, and I can get back to agvocating in a ways that I can better listen to and engage these people with questions about my farm.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

AgChat Foundation is a great resource and community of farmers and industry professionals from all walks of life, but with a common thread of farming and ranching. By being involved I am able to help others, and I’ve found plenty of people who can help me. Many of the people who may call on me, or me on them, through a text, Facebook messages, tweet, or email to help out with a particular issue are often involved in some way with the greater AgChat community.

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brian scott

 

Brian Scott is a 4th generation corn, soybean, popcorn, and wheat farmer from Indiana. Married with two children Brian farms the land alongside his father and grandfather. Online he can be found agvocating as The Farmer’s Life on his blog, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, and Instagram channels. Brian has been a member of the AgChat Foundation board of directors for one year.

Follow Brian on his blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube.

Why Do I AgVocate? -The Farmer’s Daughter USA

What is your role in agriculture?

I grew on my family farm in Southwest Michigan, where we raised fruits and vegetables for our own farmers market and grew corn and soybeans. Today, my family continues to grow over 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. Although I’m a lawyer by day, I still enjoy helping on the farm in the evenings and weekends, especially during harvest!

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

I think once you are involved in agriculture it becomes part of you and stays with you. I was always so disappointed to see people spreading misinformation and attacking my family’s way of life. Instead of just getting mad about it, I decided to take my talents and skills and turn them into something positive.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

When a consumer tells me that grocery shopping and approaching food issues is no longer confusing and scary because of my agvocacy.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

Keeping calm and remaining civil, especially when the other party in the conversation isn’t giving me the same courtesy! Attacks on family farms just feels personal and it can be so hard to realize that, for the other party, they’re just going based on the (mis)information they’ve been given. Likely, comments aren’t meant as a personal attack on our families, even if it feels that way.

What advice do you have for other farmers or ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

Reach out and connect with other farmers that are online! Having a strong support system with other bloggers and social media users is absolutely essential to learning, growing your efforts, and staying sane.

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or twitter chat? 

I enjoy participating when I have time and connecting with a different group of people.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

I think it is very important that we have agricultural organizations that support and promote farmers as they move into the realm of social media and learn to be their own agvocates.

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Amanda Z

Amanda is from Southwest Michigan where her family farms 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. For 26 years, Amanda and her family ran and supplied a roadside market selling their own fresh fruits and vegetables. After graduating college, Amanda attended law school at Michigan State University College of Law and is now a practicing lawyer.

Follow her blog, Facebook & Twitter.

Uniting Bee Health

One of the many misconceptions of agriculture pertains to the wonderful world of honey bees. Farmers are continuously dealt increasingly, challenging playing cards including weather, lower prices for their products and increased expenses. Its important that the general public understand that despite these steep challenges, farmers and ranchers continue to place priority on stewardship for the land and other assets such as bees. Assets such as honey bees and other pollinators are an absolutely necessity in the world of farming and ranching.

The Feed A Bee initiative brought together more than 70 partners pledging thousands of acres of land to A portion of a honey bee colony at the Bayer Bee Care Center in North Carolina. AgChat.orgincrease forage for pollinators, including nearly two dozen individual growers and family-owned farms who committed to converting acres of their land to pollinator havens.

It is also essential that farmers and ranchers understand the concerns shared by moms, dads and the general public. In a partnership with Bayer Bee Care, the AgChat Foundation will bring together farmers, ranchers, agriculturalists, moms, dads, dietitians, chefs and more to discuss the issue of bee health. This joint conversation will occur on Twitter using the #AgChat handle on Tues., Feb. 2.

“Everyone has a connection with the honey bee. They work hard to pollinate many of the foods we eat every day. We’re looking forward to opening up this conversation with the AgChat community to discuss the important role of bees on the farm and in our backyards.” – Dr. Becky Langer, Manager of the North America Bayer Bee Care Program

In addition to the Feed a bee program, Bayer CropScience has a unique partnership with an up and coming cartoon character, Vitamin Bee, who offers appeal to children.

“Vitamin Bee is all about educating kids about healthy eating and how bees are a vital part of getting the food we eat from farm to table. We’re so excited to connect our community of parents and teachers with the agricultural community on Twitter!” – Geoffrey Kater, Creator/CEO – Vitamin Bee, LLC

We invite you to join us on Twitter, 5-7pmPT/6-8pmMT/7-9pmCT/8-10pmET, as we discuss bee health, Feed A Bee and encouraging today’s youth to become involved with Vitamin Bee. You can join the conversation by following the #AgChat hashtag on Twitter. The discussion will provide useful tools for both the agriculture community and the general public.

For additional information on how to join this discussion, click here.

 

College Students Hone Agricultural Advocacy Skills at 2016 Collegiate Congress

College Students Hone Agricultural Advocacy Skills at 2016 Collegiate Congress

On April 2, 2016, with support from Dow AgroSciences, college students from across the country will convene at Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis, Ind., for the AgChat Foundation’s 2016 Collegiate Congress [registration]. Participants will network with top-tier agricultural communicators, farmers and influencers while gaining the necessary tools to communicate their respective food system stories.

“The inaugural Collegiate Congress provided a solid framework as I strive to advocate for agriculture to my highest ability,” said Lexi Marek, 2015 Collegiate Congress alumna and 2016 Collegiate Congress planning committee member. “This event provides excellent networking with speakers and peers leading to future opportunities.”

Dow AgroSciences Supports The 2016 Collegiate Congress

Sessions will focus on strategic communication techniques, time prioritization and agricultural advocacy while expanding networks to incorporate consumer-facing messaging. Additionally, participants will learn about organizing on-campus events, digital content calendars and interacting with consumers.

“Our fast-paced society applauds short attention spans and convenience, which is vastly altering the way consumers receive information. This often leads to consumers’ fear-driven, perceived wants overriding scientific facts in regards to many aspects of the agricultural and food industries,” said Jenny Schweigert, AgChat Foundation executive director. “Collegiate Congress was established to equip young, agricultural leaders with the appropriate tools so they are not only able, but also prepared to connect beyond their typical networks.”

Early-bird registration, which includes a discounted rate, is open until March 1, 2016.

To learn more about the event or to inquire about sponsorship opportunities, contact Jenny Schweigert at execdir@agchat.org.

Why Do I AgVocate? – Shelly Davis

What is your role in agriculture?

I grew up in a farming family, starting to drive combine at age 11. Every summer was driving combine or tractor until I graduated college at 22. Since I was 11, I’ve only missed one harvest. That was a very strange summer for me! Currently, I oversee all logistics during the harvest season now. We bale grass straw on about 22,000 acres on top of farming a little over 1000 acres of grass seed and wheat. It’s a pretty busy job getting over 75 pieces of equipment in and out of fields all over the Willamette Valley! Outside of harvest, I work with overseas customers selling grass straw for their dairy and beef operations. I’m extremely proud to have grown up in a truck shop as well. My dad and mom started with 2 trucks in 1983 in addition to farming, and currently we have 36 trucks that I help my parents manage. We haul agricultural products ranging from our own grass seed and grass straw to “haul for hire” fertilizer, wheat, and bagged grass seed.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

I’ve always been proud of my farm upbringing and that has impacted every area of my life and my “story” almost always starts with “I grew up on a farm” in some capacity. I have incredibly brilliant and passionate “aggie” friends who are agvocates; this has been a huge motivation and inspiration in me becoming a louder “agvocate.” I live in Oregon, which has produced legislative sessions and ballot measures lately that literally have required the agricultural industry to become more involved. When your livelihood is being debated in the State Capitol, or part of something being voted on, a person tends to become passionate. Also recently we endured through one of the largest port crisis’s the US has seen. Since my family farm/business exports, we were involved from day 1. I was honored to be able to speak on behalf of the greater farming community and how the port crisis affected us.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

Learning and sharing. I’ve LEARNED so much over the past few years. Also just being able to share with people the joys of farming, as well as the impact it has on so many people. Most don’t realize this! In Oregon, 1 in every 7 jobs relies on agriculture. In the US, the job growth in Agriculture is expected to boom over the next 5 years. It’s a huge part of our economy, and I’m very proud and excited to be a part of it!

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

It takes time. But the good part of this is everyone can decide for him/herself how much time you can spend on this. It’s different for every person, and that’s okay!

What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

#1 piece of advice: know what you’re talking about. You will be questioned, you will be called out – and you need to be able to back up your position or statement. This goes back to learning. I’ve had to learn a lot over the past few years. The word research has become my friend. The “louder” and more popular you are, you will become a go-to person on issues. The next piece of advice? Develop lots and lots of friends – you will need to go to them for advice, information, and support. I just commented lately on someone’s blog how much I love having friends in all areas of agriculture. I don’t know a lot about dairy farming, but I know dairy farmers if I have a question!

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

I attended the Spokane regional convention last year. Not only was I motivated from other’s stories, I learned so much from the breakout sessions! I learned more about blogging from “Nuttygrass” and “It’s Mom Sense”, as well as using pictures to tell a story from “OregonGreen Blog”. Everyone who spoke was open to connecting on a personal level, and that spoke volumes to me.

What What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

For me, it means developing relationships with like-minded and passionate people. With this I’ve established the confidence needed to share with the public about my life, my livelihood.

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Shelly Davis Shelly Boshart Davis helps run the family farm and businesses with parents, Stan and Lori Boshart, representing Boshart Trucking, BOSSCO Trading, PressCo and SJB Farms in Tangent, Oregon. With nearly 50 employees, the four different companies align and work together providing food, grass seed and forage to customers all over the world. They farm grass seed, hazelnuts, wheat, and bale grass straw. Shelly loves her local community and she is proud to be deeply rooted in the great world of Agriculture. Most importantly, Shelly and her husband Geoff are raising 3 young girls ages 13, 10 and 8.

Follow Shelly on her blog, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Why Do I AgVocate? -Greg Peterson

What is your role in agriculture?

I am a 5th generation farmer from Assaria, KS. I work on a beef cattle, wheat, corn, soybean, and sorghum farm with my family. I also create YouTube videos (Peterson Farm Bros) with my brothers and operate all of the social media platforms associated with that. When I am not working on the farm, I am travelling around the country giving presentations on advocating for agriculture.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

When I was growing up in school, I was always frustrated with the perception my friends had of what it meant to be a farm kid. I was always trying to change their stereotypes of what it must be like and educate them on why farming was important. That desire to communicate what I knew to be the truth about agriculture led to me switch my major in college from Ag Economics to Ag Communications during my sophmore year.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

I think it’s seeing the positive difference you can make in what people think about farmers and agriculture. Also, when you see the disconnect between people and their food, you feel like you are needed.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

Definitely the backlash and arguments you receive from the opposing side, whether that be an activist or just someone who disagrees with you. It’s so frustrating to know something is true but not be able to convince someone else of that truth. But not everyone is open to new ideas and sometimes you just have to move past that and focus on the ones who are.

What What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

You can do a lot of advocacy just by being intentional with your time and conversations with people. I do take time to work on advocacy projects but you can get a lot done just by looking for ways to advocate as part of what you are already doing!

What What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

Whenever you have a group of people passionate about the agricultural conversation get together, it is something special. Whether online or in person, it is a very neat community to be a part of!

What What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

I appreciate the AgChat Foundation for all the advocacy work they do as well as all of the training and material they provide to other advocates.

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Greg Peterson Headshot2

Greg Peterson is a 2013 graduate of Kansas State University where he majored in Agricultural Communications and Journalism. He grew up and still works on a family farm near Assaria, KS with his parents, 2 brothers, and sister. In June of 2012, Greg and his brothers released a video on YouTube entitled, “I’m Farming and I Grow It” that received over 9 million views. Since then Greg and his brothers have continued to produce videos and are now up to 37 million total views on YouTube. The videos have given Greg and his brothers many opportunities around the country and the world to talk about agriculture and he is passionate about the future of the industry.

Follow Greg on his blog, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Why Do I AgVocate? – Kristin Reese

What is your role in agriculture?

I grew up on a farm and have always had rural roots, no pun intended as my maiden name is Root. I am a mom to my two little farmers Campbell (8) and Parker (6). Along with my dad we raise Horned Dorset sheep, poultry, the kids dabble with cattle and we raise grass and alfalfa hay. I am a farmer and take great pride in sharing the truths in agriculture from a smaller farm prospective by blogging, working with commodities and businesses on what resonates with our non-farm friends. One of my most favorite ways to do this is by cooking and sharing my love of the farm with my customers through my private cooking business Local Flavor Foods. I have an off farm job as a Real Estate agent so I work with the non-farm public on a daily basis, this allows me the perfect connection to share about life on the farm.

What was your inspiration for becoming an agvocate?

It was by accident I found my love of sharing what we do on the farm. I love to talk and share with people what we do. As a child I can remember being at the Ohio State fair fitting sheep for the show and telling the fairgoers that passed by all about our sheep and passing out samples of wool for them to take home. I have had such amazing people in agriculture who recognized my gift for gab and they have given me opportunities that I could never have done on my own. I would never have dreamed of the experiences agriculture and the people in agriculture have allowed me. I am so very grateful that those wiser than I saw something in me I didn’t even know I had and helped me to develop and continue to develop my skills. I am just another mom who is trying to get it all done and I just happen to drive a tractor and wear overalls and in the mix.

What is your favorite part about being an agvocate?

I enjoy the challenge of discovering what resonates with people. Each of us is at a different point in our lives and different things matter. I love seeing the passion people have about how they participate in our food system. We should want to encourage people and their passions while making sure they have accurate information to help guide them. I enjoy meeting other farmers and learning about their farms and becoming better educated about areas in agriculture I know nothing about.

What is the most challenging part of being an agvocate?

Sometimes it is finding the time to be an advocate is the most challenging to me. I call them friends even though most of them I have never met in real life who are amazing at finding the time to share their stories and experiences. I wish I had more time to advocate in all the ways I desire. How we advocate is constantly changing and the learning and listening never ends, while it is a challenge it is a challenge I enjoy. Who doesn’t like a challenge especially when it is something that is so important!

What advice for other farmer/ranchers who would like to become more involved in agvocacy?

Get your feet wet little by little. Find the area that you are most comfortable, start there and see what builds. If you love to cook share your favorite recipes, if you craft find a way to share little bits about your farm story. Photographs resonate with people so easily maybe that is the way to share what you do and it only takes a few extra moments. We do not need to be all Ag all the time. Be authentic and never be afraid to share your failures sometimes those make for the best stories and keep us even more real not only to our non-farm friends but even our friends in agriculture.

What is your biggest takeaway or memory from an AgChat event or Twitter chat?

The people! I have never felt like I had so many friends who are similar to me. Using the word “friend” with people I have never met seems crazy but there is never a dull discussion and a group of people who will better understand our lives than those who are living in a similar way. We may have completely different farms but there are always similarities.

What does the AgChat Foundation mean to you?

Connection and Empowerment are two words that could not be two better words to have as a bi-line for AgChat. Connecting not only farmers and ranchers with the public but with each other is a vital part of being successful. Empowering us to do what sometimes seems impossible or too much of a challenge is priceless.

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KristinKristin is Local Farm Mom, blogger, Realtor, self-proclaimed chef and farmer who lives in Baltimore, Ohio. She has two small children Campbell (8) and Parker (6), who love their life on their small family farm. Together they raise sheep, grass and alfalfa hay, meat chickens, turkeys, laying hens, a number of garden crops for use in her private cooking business.

Kristin is the owner of Local Flavor Foods, a private cooking business that seeks to build upon the rich tradition of high quality food production in Ohio. Kristin shares about rural life and is ready to tackle some of the big questions and topics about food and farming straight from the farmer’s perspective. Kristin is a farm mom volunteer for CommonGround and several Ohio commodity groups.

Follow her blog, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

Western Regional AgVocacy Conference Set to Discuss Drought, Land Management Issues

The AgChat Foundation will host the 2016 Western Regional Agvocacy conference in Reno, NV, February 19-20. The event will once again deliver a diverse selection of sessions focusing on strengthening online relationships while fostering offline communications with consumers.

The conference will open with New Mexico native, Matt Rush who will share his passion to share his ACF Welcomes New Mexico native Matt Rush to the 2016 Western Regional Conference - http://reno.agchat.rocksstory in an effort to remain viable, valuable and visible. Rush is the former CEO of the New Mexico Farm Bureau and previously served on American Farm Bureau’s Foundation for Agriculture Board of Directors.

Specific to western U.S. agricultural challenges, issues such as the drought, land management and labeling will be addressed through consumer and agvocacy panels. The agvocacy panel, “AgVocating Through A Drought,” will offer experiences from Western Canal Water District Special Projects Manager, Anjanette Shadley, northern California cattle rancher, Meg Brown and Nevada sheep rancher, Mike Compston.

Attend the 2016 Western Regional Conference in Reno, NV - http://reno.agchat.rocks“The AgChat Foundation was established in an effort to connect farmers and ranchers so that they may share their experiences as agriculture advocates,” says AgChat Foundation executive director, Jenny Schweigert. “Attendees of this event are dealing with a powerful set of circumstances. It is more important than ever for folks to connect with consumers and initiate a healthy dialogue. I believe we have assembled an experience which will offer tools and networking opportunities to foster consumer relationships.”

The event will also feature Emmy award-winning director, Conrad Weaver as he discusses the upcoming Thirsty Land documentary set for release in May.

Early bird registration closes January 21st and provides a discount of $30. For additional information, visit http://reno.agchat.rocks.